Brigitte Grignet

Photographer
 
The Children of the Sea
Location: Liege, Belgium
Nationality: Belgian/American
Biography: Brigitte Grignet is a Belgian photographer focusing in a more personal type of documentary photography. She studied photography at the International Center of Photography in New York, where she lived for 15 years. She worked with Mary Ellen Mark... MORE
Public Story
The Children of the Sea
Copyright Brigitte Grignet 2022
Date of Work Mar 2013 - Mar 2013
Updated Oct 2020
Topics Abandonment, Adolescence, Black and White, Children, Community, Documentary, Education, Family, Isolation, Parenting & Family, Photography, School/College, Spotlight, Teens
IBIS was created in 1906 by King Albert in Ostend (Belgium) to offer a home and a maritime school to orphan boys whose father had perished at sea. Traditionally the children would be taken in by other fishermen families. But it was a heavy charge and the boys would often end up working in the fields. IBIS offered them a home and a professional education, allowing them to follow in their ancestors’ trade and tradition.

IBIS is now a boarding school for boys coming from families in difficult situations, boys showing behaviour problems or suffering from affective or social neglect. There are 110 boys at most, ranging from 6 to 16 years old. They go to primary school, then receive a technical maritime secundary education. They receive room and board, a structure, social and emotional care, practical skills in a quiet and safe environment. IBIS is more than a boarding school. For some boys it is their actual home. Some children go back to their family some weekends, but the school is open the whole year and some boys rarely go back home.
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